Strangler Lewis’ Head-Lock Machine

Posted on Thursday, November 3rd, 2022 by John Wood
Ed “Strangler” Lewis was one of the most fearsome grapplers of the early 20th century. Given his nickname, you can probably guess that his favorite hold was the headlock. The problem is, Mr. Strangler went through training partners like tissue paper. In short order, few people would set foot on the mat with the Strangler. Billy Sandow, Strangler Lewis’ manager figured out a unique solution: he fashioned a dummy “head” consisting of two wooden halves connected together with powerful railroad springs.

No longer did the Strangler need training partners to practice on — of course, now with the ability to train with added resistance, his headlock became even more powerful. Strangler Lewis and Billy Sandow eventually created a series of exercises for different muscle groups which could be performed with this unique device.

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Author: John Wood

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